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Benefits and truth behind Lycopene

Tomatoes / Lycopene Benefits

The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is one of the most popular fruits in the world. Although most people consider it to be a vegetable, it is actually a citrus fruit. Americans alone eat about 80 pounds of tomatoes yearly. California is the largest grower of tomatoes but China is also considered one of the biggest importers.

Tomatoes - raw or cooked?
This incredibly resourceful fruit can be eaten in so many ways from raw, to cooked, in pastas and on salads. Because of their acidity, they are also great for canning, with a long shelf life for your health and enjoyment. (herbwisdom.com)

Tomatoes and other lycopene-rich foods help prevent strokes.

Researchers have known for years that eating tomatoes and tomato products like marinara sauce can help ward off prostate cancer. Now, new research says they're also good for preventing stroke. A study of more than 1,000 men discovered that those with the highest blood levels of lycopene – a carotenoid found primarily in the fruit – were 55 percent less likely to suffer a stroke than guys with the lowest amounts. That's after accounting for risk factors such as age, smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Why is lycopene so beneficial? "Lycopene reduces inflammation, improves immune function, and prevents blood clotting," says Finnish researcher and study author Jouni Karppi.

You can also get lycopene from watermelon, grapefruit, and guava, but tomatoes are the richest source.

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